The Freeport Players are providing a big helping of theatrical escapism with their latest production.

Rooted in but not bound by the Commedia dell’ arte tradition, their take on Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters” is loaded with wacky characters, broad humor, wild physical comedy and a relentless dedication to making audiences laugh. It easily transcends any limitations that might be implied by the fact that the play was written more than 250 years ago.

Director Daniel Burson has loosely updated the setting to the late 1940s, but abundant anachronisms enhance the farcical sensibility of this not-for-the-very-young show. And, it’s clear that Burson has given careful attention to bringing out the best in his spirited cast.

Zachariah Stearn takes the lead role of Truffaldino, an enterprising servant who believes he is clever enough to pull off serving two masters simultaneously, thereby reaping the benefits of double pay, double food and a certain rascally self-satisfaction.

Dressed in a clownish, patched costume and exuding a goofy charm often revealed through knowing asides to the audience, Stearn may remind some of the recently departed Jerry Lewis. Matching broad visual antics with an obvious glee in keeping the ruse going, the actor sustains comedic energy as bright as the lights on the wide theater stage in Freeport. His bits on resealing letters, unpacking trunks and serving (and sampling) dinner all scored hearty laughs with the crowd on opening night.

Truffaldino’s efforts take place against a backdrop of romantic entanglements where marriage traditions are tested by social divisions, financial considerations and threats of violence.

Mika Gallati and Elliott Nagler play impulsive young lovers whose door to wedded bliss shuts as the fellow to whom Gallati’s character was previously betrothed appears to have arisen from his death at the hands of his sister’s lover. These complications are explained in one of the productions several meta-moments when a servant steps forward to quiz the audience on whether they are keeping up.

Zachariah Stearn as Truffaldino in Freeport Players’ “The Servant of Two Masters.” Photo by Anna Dearnley

Gallati is sweetly petulant in her role, while Nagler prances and pouts like a macho nerd. He gets to engage in some Monty Python-esque high-stepping, and his participation in a well-choreographed sword fight is also a hoot.

Annie Collins spends most of the play dressed as a man as her character pretends to be her dead brother while searching for her lover, played by Noah Bragg. As the two masters of the title, Collins and Bragg spend a good amount of time as the straight-people at the other end of Truffaldino’s teetering deceptions.

Peter Havas and David Vincent are hilarious as patriarchs whose principles falter amid the turmoil caused by their children. Courtney Pomerleau, as Truffaldino’s love interest, and Jen Musick, as a semi-robotic innkeeper, notably hover around the action, adding comic commentary.

Rose Humeniuk, Sabrina Small and Nicholas Havas round out the cast as workers who come and go from multiple doors at the rear of the minimally furnished set.

The theater season is off to a good start with this well-conceived and well-executed take on a classic.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.